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A Guide on First-Time Buyer Mortgages

Finding a first-time buyer mortgage is no mean feat. For many young people finding themselves in this position, it can be as much of a daunting experience as it is exciting. And why shouldn’t you focus on the latter? In this article, we are going to provide a guide for first-time buyers so making the step into your new home is that bit easier. 

Congratulations! You’ve managed to navigate your way out of the stormy seas of adolescence, you’ve landed a job with a stable income and you’re about to defy every article about why millennials will have to wait until they’re *ahem* very old before they can buy a property. So well done for getting this far.

Yet, still after getting to this stage, you find yourself in unchartered waters. You might be asking yourself, what steps should I take to get a mortgage? Will I be able to support myself and my family? Will I find the right property? Or even, what is a mortgage? If you resonate with any of these questions or any other ones that fit in this category, then don’t stress. These are all very normal anxieties for first-time buyers. So, gear up, we’re going to show you how joyous that first step into your new home can be.

To kick off your first-time buyer mortgage process, you’ll need a few things…

Make sure you are prepared:

While this might seem obvious to some of those reading this, whether it be because it was lectured to them by their parents, a teacher or an employer, when all is said and done, preparation is key. And when it comes to first-time buying, this is no different. I’m sure many of you have been in education up until at least the age of 16, what’s the harm in treating it like an exam? It is recommended that by looking through real-estate papers, newspaper adverts and the windows of estate agents, you can begin to work out what your price range is and where you’d like to move to. For those first-time buyers with family commitments, this can be extremely important. 

This means that as well as considering your own aesthetic desires, you may have to consider where the local schools are if you are looking to start a family or how far it may be from certain relatives. What we’re getting at is that practicality is key. So, consider all options carefully and make your life easier. Find and solve potential problems before the move, DO NOT discover them after you’ve been given the keys. 


To purchase a property, you will need to put down a deposit, usually a minimum of 10% of the property value. It’s a vital factor to remember and another thing that can be taken for granted in the house buying process, because it’s so obvious it doesn’t tend to get much thought. 

Luckily for you, as of the 22nd November 2017, the government abolished the stamp duty for *drum roll* first-time buyers! Yes, that means on your first-time buyer mortgage, you’ll be paying £0 on stamp duty (as long as your property is under £500,000. So, that’s one less expense you have to think about. You will still need to ensure you have funds set aside for the valuation fee and legal fees. Valuation fees are charged by the mortgage lender to assess the value of your property, confirm it is suitable security and to confirm how much they are prepared to lend to the borrower. This can vary largely and range anywhere between £150 and £1,500. 

Legal fees are paid direct to your solicitor so they can undertake work such as raising enquiries with the vendor’s solicitor, ensuring the terms of the contract are correct and to order searches from the local council to confirm things such as any future building developments planned for nearby. Some of you reading this may be thinking that they can go the whole hog alone and do it themselves, hold on. Although it might seem cost-effective to assume the role of Harvey Spectre on this occasion, legal documents can be very complex and legal fees and valuation fees cannot be avoided (although you can shop around).

Know how to make an offer:

Once your budget is set and you’ve found the house your heart desires, it’s time to make an offer! Bartering is a path commonly trod by prospective buyers and estate agents alike, so if your first offer is rejected, don’t be disheartened. Keep plugging away! Don’t isolate yourself in this situation either. Your estate agent can be of great help when negotiation comes to the fore so don’t be afraid to use them! This is because they can provide great inside information on what price the homeowner may be willing got accept given the property and its location, so fire away!

Find a mortgage loan that suits you:

So now, before you agree on a price on your new home, let’s find a mortgage loan that suits you. It is important to ensure that you can get a mortgage lender to pre-approve your loan after various credit checks that assess your suitability before you make a bid on the new house. When choosing which mortgage lender is the one for you there is a multitude of different mortgage comparison website at your disposal that can be used to your benefit. Mortgage rates vary from lender to lender, so make sure you look around for the right deal.

These can be a great use when comparing interests rates, what credit ratings the lenders accept and also how each lender calculates credit scores. This is vital to the house buying process. So, make sure that you take your time when doing this to ensure that the best deal is met for you. If you feel like you are struggling do not hesitate in hiring an independent financial advisor (IFA) or a broker to assist you in finding the best deal for you. 

Remember readers, that it’s critically important to take your time when buying a house as this is going to be one of if not the biggest purchase of your lifetime. So, make sure you seek advice from the right people where necessary and to not rush the process. Good luck!

In the meantime, use MO’s handy tool to help you find the best mortgage for you! It’s quick, simple and secure – find the right deal for you with Mortgages Online.


Laura Waller

Laura Waller has been working in the mortgages industry since 2013, joining an independent brokerage in Essex. Laura has CeMAP 2 & 3 – Certificates in Mortgages Advice and Practice. Since then Laura oversees marketing for Mortgages Online, using her experience and expertise to write articles and blogs about mortgages and related topics.

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